Born and raised in Washington DC, I attended Oberlin College in Ohio.
Between college and graduate school I worked for a year at the National Institute of Mental Health as a research assistant on a project about mother-child interaction.
Next I attended Catholic University of America in Washington DC and obtained my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 1979. I studied many different approaches to therapy.
During that program I had the privilege of working part time at the Georgetown University Child Development Center where I was immersed in working with children and their families under supervision of some excellent child psychologists.
I went on to do an internship at a community mental health center where I did therapy and testing under supervision.